Zwelinzima Vavi calls for peace in ongoing Cape taxi conflict
Share this article:
Cape Town - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, says unity will need to be achieved among taxi operators and guns must go silent.
A war has engulfed rivals the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) and the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata). The root of the conflict is the use of the B97 minibus taxi route that runs between Bellville and Mbekweni, Paarl.
Attempts by Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and other provincial officials to find a solution have failed.
As a result, Cata and Codeta had resorted to halting operations in Nyanga, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha, among other areas.
During an interview yesterday, Vavi said that following mediations with both taxi bodies, a task team had been put together to ensure that no more killings take place. UDM leader Bantu Holomisa was also present at the process.
“The first and most important thing that needs to happen immediately is that the guns must go silent. There should be no killings. We have put together a task team to ensure that happens,” said Vavi.
He said the long-term solutions would have to rely on the fact that all taxis operate within the armpit of the law.
A document in which Cata and Codeta have raised their concerns following mediations has been sent to Mbalula, Mitchell and Minister of Police Bheki Cele for their consideration. “We need to work with the minister of police and with the army to ensure that order is restored so we can enforce a mechanism to ensure that they (taxi operators) can work together,” said Vavi.
Holomisa said taxi drivers are still fearing to get into the field without proper security in the roads which have been closed. “If government responds to the agreement and some requests from the taxi operators, I think it is safe to say that the gaps have been narrowed big time.”